Who Puts the Pro in Pro Bono

desigNYC, an organization that improves life in NYC through the power of design, issues “Second Call for Project Ideas from NYC Nonprofits and Pro Bono Service from NYC Designers.”

desigNYC’s mission is to improve the lives of New Yorkers by connecting nonprofits, community groups and city agencies serving the public good with passionate, professional pro bono designers who are leaders in the fields of architectural, landscape, interior, lighting and communication design. Interested applicants should visit www.desigNYC.org for further information and to complete a submission form by the November 2, 2010 deadline. The next round of collaborations will be announced in mid-December with project work to begin in January 2011.

In its inaugural year, desigNYC connected 12 worthy organizations with more than 20 talented design professionals. Now nearing completion, the first desigNYC collaborations produced design solutions targeting social and environmental issues impacting the city, including affordable housing, sustainable development, social justice, health, green space, urban farming, local food systems, youth leadership, and more.

Nonprofit organizations and designers are encouraged to use the following submission guidelines to apply for desigNYC’s second round of projects:

Project Idea Submissions:

  • Project concepts must be intended to improve the lives of New Yorkers in one or two key areas: Well-Being (relating to human health, affordable housing, public spaces and providing social services to underserved communities) or Sustainable Communities (relating to creating a greener, healthier city).
  • Submitted by city agencies or NYC-based nonprofits, including 501(c)(3)s or organizations that receive fiscal sponsorship from another 501(c)(3).

Pro Bono Design Service Submissions:

  • Multidisciplinary designers and design firms located in NYC may apply as well as individual designers who are prepared to make a formal commitment to creating high quality, timely, pro bono solutions in collaboration with nonprofit partners.
  • desigNYC encourages a participatory design process involving the community being served as well as the integration of sustainable design principles and practices wherever possible.

Some project collaborations:

Visitor Engagement Programs for Added Value’s Farm on Governor’s Island by TODA


Master Plan for the Broadway Mall by Joel Sanders Architect, Balmori Associates, Domingo Gonzalez

New Identity + Style Guide for Bronx River Alliance by Felix Sockwell and Tom Vasquez

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